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Breaking down narrow beauty stereotypes

We’ve always taken pride in championing diversity, making sure we show strong, real women. Female empowerment and the fight against stereotypes are at the heart of everything we do. Since Dove launched in 1957, we’ve worked with a huge spectrum of women to tell their stories, both about Dove products and the way we see true beauty. In 2004, we launched the campaign for Real Beauty — a revolutionary move in the industry at the time — showing women that broke the narrow beauty stereotypes we were all so used to seeing in adverts. We wanted to strengthen women’s self-confidence by showing unretouched photos of naturally beautiful, confident women.

We still have work to do though. 70% of women say they still don't feel represented in the images they see every day. It’s why Dove has developed Project #ShowUs – the world’s largest stock photo collection created by women and non-binary individuals – to shatter beauty stereotypes by showing us as we are, not as others believe we should be. The collection features more than 5,000 photographs depicting the real beauty of women and non-binary individuals from 39 countries and counting. No airbrushing, no digital distortion, just an unapologetically inclusive vision of beauty. We are here to champion female body positivity. Every image is created by Girlgaze, a diverse community of female-identifying and non-binary photographers around the world. For the first time ever, each person photographed has personally chosen their own search descriptions for their images, defining exactly how they want to be seen, in their own terms.

What happens next could change everything. This image bank is now available on Getty Images, the world’s leading creators and distributors of images, for all media and advertisers to use in their campaigns. And this is just the beginning. Every image downloaded will support female-identifying and non-binary photographers of the future, helping to grow the photo collection further, so that all media may one day reflect the real experiences of individuals everywhere.

We also know that women and girls are being sent home from work or school because of their hair type or style. This is why we are working on various initiatives to ensure the world girls enter is a more welcoming place when it comes to beauty. We co-founded the CROWN Coalition and are making progress towards changing federal and state law in the USA with the CROWN Act*, making it illegal to discriminate against natural or protective hair textures and styles in the workplace or school. We are also working to change laws to prevent digital distortion of images in advertising in the USA. These things matter. Women's lives are affected by these exclusions and stereotypes every day, in ways big and small. It affects our health, relationships and opportunities in life.

*The CROWN Act to end hair discrimination in workplaces and schools nationwide has been introduced in US Congress by Rep Cedric Richmond and Senator Cory Booker. To learn more and to join us in supporting the right to celebrate #RealBeauty, check out https://www.thecrownact.com.

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